Monday, October 12, 2009

Learning from the Book Of Five Rings

Miamoto Musashi was a very famous Japanese saumari, who wrote a book called The book of Five Rings. I first heard of him by Alistir CockBurn’s book – Agile Software Devleopment.

The good thing is Alistair pointed out what we can learn from his book into our software development. Here is what Alistair pointed out:

• Do not develop an attachment to any one weapon or anyone school of fighting.
Use the rang of them without getting stuck in anyone.
• Practice and observe reflectively.
Practice hard, win big (pointed out by Jeff Sutherland, the SCRUM creator)
• Win
Pay more attention to winning than to looking good,
“Do not do anything useless”

Here I also would like to copy what his rules for learning the art ( from page 41):
1. Think of what is right and true.
2. Practice and cultivate the science.
3. Become acquainted with the arts.
4. Know the principles of the crafts.
5. Understand the harm and benefit in everything.
6. Learn to see everything accurately.
7. Become aware of what is not obvious.
8. Be careful even in small matters.
9. Do not do anything useless.

The interesting thing is that in the book, Mushasi use carpentry as a metaphor for mastering his science of martial art. (from page 9, Likening the Science of Martial Arts to Carpentry). It seems every word can be used to software development, used as principles of mastering programmer's skills.

In future I will post more about this book.

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